This issue Michael reveals how to shoot striking and original travel photos
The broad idea of travel has a long and intimate relationship with the camera. By the middle of the 19th century, photography had become practicable, although by today’s standards immensely laborious. The weight of the equipment, and the difficulty and uncertainty of preparing and processing plates on location, did not deter scores of photographers from setting out to capture the world. They had a practical motive for this, because the invention of the new medium coincided, more or less, with an insatiable demand in the West to know how the world looked – its monuments, landscapes, cultures. Travel photography aimed to satisfy that demand, and has been doing it ever since.
The major difference nowadays is that millions of people do it for themselves – they no longer have to rely on other people to deliver the images they crave. They travel to increasingly exotic countries, and they take photographs of these destinations. If you have any professional ambitions, this raises the bar, because you need to go further creatively and visually in order for your photographs to stand out from the mass of travel imagery out there.
For committed photographers, a trip overseas is an opportunity – maybe the only one of the year – to really concentrate on shooting and to focus on fresh subjects that can help rejuvenate our enthusiasm. A successful trip begins with planning and preparation (see page 83 for our packing guide), but once you’re on the road, what counts the most is a willingness to look at absolutely everything in a new destination with a fresh and curious eye.
The Pak Ou caves, on the Mekong river in Laos, are filled with thousands of statues of Buddha, captured here from an unusual and very arresting viewpoint
Our globetrotting Contributor at Large, renowned photographer and prolific author Michael Freeman, presents a monthly masterclass that’s exclusive to
N-Photo. Michael has published dozens of books on photography, including the bestselling PerfectExposure.